Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Local History and Genealogy
New York Public Library
“The New York Public Library and the Milstein family are the crown jewels of New York….I am delighted that these dear friends of mine have given stability to one of the country’s most extraordinary collections of American and immigrant history.”
– U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
The Milstein Division includes a vast photo archive of more than 30,000 images along with an exceptional collection of books, press clippings, diaries, periodicals, pamphlets and other materials documenting every aspect of American life. After the General Research Division, the Milstein Division is one of the most highly used areas of the Library. Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Robert A. Caro, Edmund Morris and Barbara Tuchman have found materials for their books in the Milstein Division, which has also been used as a resource by A&E’s Biography and ABC’s Good Morning America. Complementing the Castle Garden database, the Milstein Division contains manifests of arriving ships, church, cemetery and city records, census records, and city directories.
Among the treasures of the Milstein Division are the Emigrant Bank archives, donated by the Bank’s Chair and CEO, Howard Milstein. These archives open a window on the lives of the early Irish immigrants, and their succesors, who opened accounts at that historic insitution. During 2007 and 2008, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society turned their entire archive over to the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library, thus making it one of the largest and most comprehensive genealogical collections in the world.